An apple a day… that’s all we ask

Celebrate fresh, local apples at the market this Saturday, September 8th.  Free Tastings

Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?    This old Welsh proverb actually applies to all round fruit — but the apple does have some excellent nutritional benefits.

  • Pectin — Pectin is a form of soluble fiber than lowers both blood pressure and glucose levels. It can also lower the levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in the body. Pectin, like other forms of fiber, helps maintain the health of the digestive system. Apples are an excellent source of pectin.
  • Boron — A nutrient found in abundance in apples, boron supports strong bones and a healthy brain.
  • Quercetin — A flavonoid, this nutrient shows promise for reducing the risk of various cancers, including cancers in the lungs and breast. It may also reduce free radical damage. Free radicals develop when atoms in the body’s cells have unpaired electrons, which can lead to damage to different parts of the cell, including DNA. Quercetin may neutralize free radical damage, which has been implicated in a variety of age-related health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Vitamin C — Vitamin C boosts immunity, which helps maintain overall health.
  • Phytonutrients — Apples are rich in a variety of phytonutrients, including vitamins A and E and beta carotene. These compounds fight damage from free radicals and can have a profound affect on health, including reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

Apples also act as a toothbrush, cleaning teeth and killing bacteria in the mouth, which may reduce the risk of tooth decay. They’re also low in calorie density, one of the trademarks of a healthy food. When a food is low in calorie density you can eat good size portions of the food for relatively few calories. In addition, apples are affordable and readily available.

Supermarket shoppers can’t easily tell which apples are fresh and which from storage, but customers atfarmers’ market can expect to find the new crop, including the sought-after heirlooms.

“Apples held in cold storage for three months contain lower levels of antioxidants. With extended storage, they also lose flavor and aroma; they can go floury quickly unless kept in the fridge.”

The Saturday market has a number of farmers with a variety of apples including  heirlooms including some that are the few remaining trees of antique types.  Wednesday, Ridgeview Farm, with over 50 different kinds of apples through-out the season, attends the market.